The Apple Watch is a novel product in Apple’s lineup for more reasons than one, but the sheer range of options available to prospective buyers may be among the most challenging to wrap your head around. Have no fear, we’ve got a handy guide to help you pick a version based on your which of the broad archetypes described below you identify with most.
Of course, the Apple Watch doesn’t launch until April 24, but pre-orders begin in just under a month on April 10, so you might as well get a head start on figuring out which one (if any, of course) you want.
The College Freshman
If you’re just starting out in college then you’re probably looking at budgetary limitations, but you’re probably also interested in fashion and having something that goes with everything. The entry-level Apple Watch Sport is a good place to start, but the special black anodized aluminum case option gives a little flare.
Like all the Sport models, it ships with Apple’s new fluoroelastomer synthetic rubber band, which is designed to hold up well in a range of different environments and use settings, so it should be fine at the gym, at the library and at the… party house? Whatever you college kids get up to for fun these days. I’m old.
The Apple Watch Sport model as pictured above includes the black anodized 42mm case and a black fluoroelastomer sport band, and will retail for $399.
The Startup Founder
This is the Apple Watch that’s perfect for offering a bit of bling, but keeping things both classy and affordable (it’s not going to significantly sweet up your burn rate, in other words). The stainless steel case is eye-catching but not showy, and the band is probably one of the more comfortable of Apple’s strap options, while again, not costing an arm and a leg.
That milanese loop bracelet isn’t going to suit everyone, but it’s worth seeing in person before you make a decision even if you aren’t initially a fan. Plus, it’s completely adjustable, rather than just offering a scale of punctuated sizing choices like one of the more traditional leather or steel link band options, which makes it better-suited to situations where you might be waving your hands frantically in a board meeting.
The Apple Watch model pictured above is the 42mm stainless steel option, with the matching stainless milanese loop band, and it will retail for $699.
The Super Parent
Parenting is no walk in the park, but if the Apple Watch can make good on its apparent promise of helping you keep the phone in the pocket more open, it just might help. As with the college kid on a budget, economy is key here, and the Apple Watch Sport is looking more and more like the option that’s best for the majority of potential users.
This smaller Sport model is even more affordable, but offers the same features as its more expensive counterparts. The silver anodized finish is both attractive and no-nonsense, but the fluorescent rubber sport band offers a bit of character and flare. This is a super light device, so you likely won’t even notice it’s on your wrist unless it’s giving you reminders about all those important appointments you have to keep, like the one for picking up junior after soccer practice.
The Apple Watch Sport model pictured above is the 38mm anodized silver aluminum model, with the green fluoroelastomer sport band. It will retail for $349.
The Monopoly Man
Well Mr. or Mrs. Moneybags: Looks like you made it. It’s time to show everyone, with a $17,000 gadget on your wrist. Is it functionally the same as the $349 version? Yes of course, but a $15 Timex is functionally the same as the $1 million Hublot Classic Fusion Haute Joaillerie, too. I highly doubt your monocle is either inexpensive or functionally required – plus you’ve made a fortune as an enterprising industrialist, so why not indulge?
The solid gold version of the Apple Watch Edition really does have an extremely pleasing weight, and that band is probably going to feel like a team of gently frolicking baby seals on your wrist. Only the Editions have the extra flare of that color match crown, too, which is like yet another tiny paean to your vast wealth.
The Apple Watch Edition model pictured above has a 38mm 18-karat yellow gold case, and a bright red leather band with an 18-karat gold modern buckle. It will retail for $17,000.
Post illustrations created by Bryce Durbin.